Monday, June 30, 2008

CD Weekend Wonders

I’ve had an interesting weekend. On Friday night into Saturday morning I experienced my first NightChurch. This is a really good scheme to connect as a place of peace in the middle of the busy club scene in our city offering refreshments and an opportunity to get respite and if anyone is interested in exploring a bit of faith even in the midst of a night out then the space is given. I’ve heard so many positive reports about it and I was intrigued since I heard of its inception last year.

So I finally had my debut and came on a night that wasn’t actually that busy. I saw a guy I respect heaps in Greg Sammons who you should check from
his Cross Rhythms fame. (No this isn’t a name-dropping exercise where I share all the names of the people in show business, although … no, I will not yield to that temptation.) I had a good chat with him and another respected co-labourer in the mission Sean Kennedy. Talked about Sabbath, rest, heaven and stuff like that which I actually found stimulating.

Then I had the chance to sit in on a conversation that Kennedy and others were having with a guy from the army who evidently had an experience that made him more aware of the fragility of life and the possibility that forces beyond himself may have a say in our eternal destinies. Not that he would sign on the dotted line to the whole Christian juggernaut, but the fact that he was conversing was encouraging and intriguing. So that was NightChurch and it’s amazing how light it is at 3:30am. Whilst walking home I was just mesmerised with just how light everything was – it felt like morning … and it was I know, but you know … anyway. Loved the debut at NightChurch and am fully supportive of the scheme. I suggest you check their
Facebook page even if you’ve got absolutely no interest in it at all – just pop in, leave a message and say that I sent you!

Right I’m going to get into the rest of my weekend in a minute, but I don’t know if I’ve recommended some blogs worth reading. One definitely worth taking your time to trawl for good writing and sharing of this journey of discipleship in really earthy ways is written by
Don Gregory: Adventures in Truck Driving.

Now when I say earthy I mean he writes in a compelling manner that the bloke who’s come into the chip shop and ordered a portion of chips with curry for Bill and some sausages and chips for himself whilst waiting in his white van, could relate to as well as someone like meself who’s not going to order that in a chip shop. (Although undoubtedly if they’ve got a deal of chips and a veggie burger with a drink for £2.50 you’ve got my vote and indeed you have my order as well as my £2.50.) Anyhow, I recommend this blog wholeheartedly as it’s one of the few written by someone that I not only know of, but have seen in the flesh and he’s just as good in the flesh as he is in type and that to me is pretty good. Enough of the plug, just check it, enjoy it and then come back here and console me with words that when I grow up if I try really hard I can be half as good as Don!

His latest blog entry more or less sums up my own thoughts on the latest happenings over in Lakeland. It was interesting to read that, because I was having the same conversation today about the deal in this Christian walk being about fruit that lasts – fruit that when people dig their teeth in they taste and see that the Lord is good, not just for a sensational moment n time but for a worthwhile journey through life.

Now before I get back to weekend highlights another blog worth checking is
Stuff Christians Like. I love good humour when I come across it and especially the kind of stuff that can laugh at some aspect of Christendom that aren’t sacred at all and can be laughed at. I recall some of my own church background that is just waiting to be poked at and laughed at not for the sake of it but to realise that beyond all the cultural baggage we have should be an earnest honest desire to not mistake Jesus for the baggage. In any case I’ve enjoyed this site whenever I’ve had the chance to read some of the stuff that Prodigal Jon puts up.

OK back to the weekend that was. So after traipsing in after 4am I thought there was no point in going to bed and so I sorted some things out and before too long the rest of the household was up and about. Something about staying up for so long can make a guy cranky and sadly I went into crank mode as a number of ‘unreasonable’ demands were made on me. Thankfully the people were out of the house before I got to Hulk-busting proportions of crankiness. After a few hours of sleep I was up and ready to meet my friend Charlotte.

Now of course you remember Charlie, of course you do,
for you cannot forget this blog entry. I hadn’t seen her since that time so it’s almost been two years and in that time she’s changed quite a bit. Shorter hair and she’s lost weight – not that she needed to in my opinion, but c’est la vie. In as much as she was an angel back in my time working with her she was an angel on this visit. It was brilliant. Just to have her knocking around and sharing time with the family was such a cool thing and I got the impression she enjoyed the time with us as well which is cool. It is appropriate that at this point I highlight the book that she recommends which is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. (‘ere Charlie, it wasn’t Seabold as you said, there’s no a in the lady’s name, fancy that!) I’m sure Charlie won’t mind me revealing to the world that it made her cry and cry such was the moving nature of the book. Now personally I’d take the recommendation of an angel seriously if I were you, so read it and read it NOW or later perhaps.

More importantly though the angel did something that clinched her position as an angel and that was supply a big ol’ cheesecake AND chocolate cake as well. Such was the popularity of both that they were gone quicker than you could say ‘would anyone like a piece of my friend’s cake’. I love it when people are a blessing and Charlie is undoubtedly a blessing as everyone at the church now knows. The funniest bit was when my mate, mentor and church boss Hughie was querying as to the identity of the angel and didn’t remember her last time at the COG Centre. When he discovered that she had cake his amazing memory kicked back into place! Convenient, non? So for cake, conversation, care and compassion I was really blessed by having Charlie come see us and hope it won’t take another 18 months before I see her again.

Now I’m not always that revelatory in this ‘ere blog. I don’t clean out me dirty laundry and let y’all into the murky depths of the Dryden character, but it is fair to say that I’m grateful for any help I can get in living this kinda life. A particular challenge of late has been getting the hang of this being a good husband gig. Now as you’ve read and I’m a funny guy (don’t deny what you know to be true) and I love making the good lady have a laugh. As I’ve discovered, however, being the funniest man you’ve ever met is not sufficient to make a healthy marriage. In the light of that revelation, which has only taken me five years to work out (we ‘celebrated’ five years this month) my brother (he being the talented and clever one of the two of us) gave me
this link to a guy who’s spot on about the whole marriage business. Now whether you’re married or not, whether you’re bothered or not, whether you’re a believer or not I spent Sunday morning discovering that it don’t matter, if it’s good advice, it’s good advice and this brother dispenses with good advice. I now have the not inconsiderable task of putting that into practice to help me in living this kinda life, but with God on my side and being married to the most beautiful woman in the world I’m sure I can make it! So big thanks to my brother (he being the talented and clever one of the two of us) for being the one who is the talented and clever one of the two of us.

To complete a good weekend I attended a baptism on Sunday. I do like a good baptism. There’s nothing like a good baptism to remind you of the whole reason why we do this God-business in the first place. Now for those reading of an unpersuaded mind, the baptism I’m referring to is the full immersion of someone who to the best of our ability has made a conscious decision to make a public declaration of joining this journey to Christ in Christ by Christ through Christ. It was such a privilege for Abigail and I to witness the dunking – it makes me inanely grinsome just thinking about it now. I often recall my own dunking experience when I watch others getting their dues, but actually on this occasion I was not so nostalgic, which is a good thing. Recalling it now, though, it was such a nondescript event that it felt a bit anti-climactic. Then, of course, there’s the whole nature of the trials and challenges that kick-off even though the public declaration is of something that’s taken place beforehand. Oh what fun it was for me. I’ve been to quite a number of baptisms this year already, let me see … four already, which is quite a lot for me. Usually I’d got to two or three in a year, so to attend this many and the first half of the year just coming to an end says something. It’s a privilege as I’ve said, but the greater joy is being able to share life in all of it’s ups and downs in the new life in Christ. That’s why it was such a privilege to see my son take the dip last month and the subsequent fun things that have come out of the woodwork since then. My prayers are with him as he spends some quality time abroad. In the meantime keep praying for da man cd family and friends. God’s been good to us for all the rough ride we’ve had this year and I’m looking forward to what more God has in store for us in the time to come. As ever my intentions are good in terms of blogging more often and there maybe more news in the pipeline as to the growing blogging empire of da man cd – stay tuned.

For His Name's Sake
da man cd

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